It’s become a cluttered market in recent years, but Emilie Ristevski was one of the first to put world-weary travel photography on the map with her wildly popular platform @helloemilie.
Emilie’s highly curated images evoke a number of reactions, from jealousy to warmth and a feeling of participation. It’s all part of the magic she’s cultivated with her eye-popping images. We caught up with the Australian artist to understand the process behind her project.
Are you purely a photographer or do you have other creative pursuits?
I have experimented with so many different creative pursuits when I was younger. I’ve always love creating things and playing with different visual mediums. I jumped from drawing and painting, studying conceptual fine art and design, to sewing, designing and making things with my hands – I guess I went through a trial and error process until I eventually realised I found something that made sense.
My love for photography first started when I discovered black and white film photography in a tiny dark room. As soon as I saw my first film photograph develop in the chemicals right before my eyes, I was obsessed and it opened up a whole new world for me.
Technically I am a photographer, although I am also a traveler, a writer, a dreamer, a wanderer, a storyteller. These creative pursuits make up who I am and how I see the world. I don’t think I could ever be defined as just purely a photographer or only doing one thing – there are so many other creative elements that go into my work.
Why did you choose photography over other creative mediums?
Photography naturally developed over time as a way to develop and document my creative ideas. As I began to travel and experience the world, I felt the need to capture the moments I encountered.
I fell in love with the idea that everyone has the ability to see the world in such different ways. This is what makes photography so magical to me – for just a moment you are able to capture a fading moment in a photograph that lasts forever.
There is something about this that resonates with me and continues to remind myself of the value of these moments. I haven’t been able to find this type of connection in any other creative medium.
What camera did you shoot on?
I have been shooting on Canon gear for many years, with the majority of my older work shot on a 5D Mark II. More recently, I have had the opportunity to test out different setups and shoot with a 1DX and a range of my favourite lenses which include: 35mm f/1.4, 24-70 f/2.8, 85mm f/1.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 100-400 f4.5-5.6.
How does your gear help you be a better photographer?
I do agree that sometimes the best camera is the one you have with you… I don’t necessarily believe your gear will help you be a better photographer. Your camera can definitely assist you in achieving different outcomes and quality. Having a variation in lenses will help with the ability to think differently about capturing a moment, but I think it’s important to remember that your camera is just a tool and photography is about so much more than that.
As my style of work developed over time, I experimented with a range of gear and gradually learned what type of equipment works best for me. Everyone has a different workflow, so trying out different setups can definitely help.
If you could shoot any subject who would it be and why?
I find myself drawn to capturing the in-between moments — fleeting details that often go unseen. I personally love portrait photography, especially while travelling throughout different cultures — although I tend to not share these types of images. A large part of my style of work features self-portraits, where there is often a sense of ambiguity, searching for the connection between myself and the landscape I am placed within. I love finding beauty in the unexpected and capturing the spontaneity in these moments.
If you could go anywhere to shoot where would it be and why?
My dream is to visit every continent. We live in such a beautifully diverse world and there are so many hidden landscapes and incredible cultures I would love to discover. There is something about the unknown — realising how little we understand about this world — that continues to inspire me and my work.
Next month I have the opportunity to explore South America, a continent I have always dreamed of experiencing. However I feel the location itself is not always the main priority when shooting, as I often seek out the little details. I have been lucky enough to travel and experience some incredible places in the world already, so creating photographs that allow someone’s mind to escape to another place – even for just a second — is all I can hope for.
As part of our Sponsored Stories series The Creator Class has partnered with Canon Canada to join our creators in exploring and enabling their creative endeavours.
To get involved and have a chance to be featured, email your pitches to email@example.com
For more of Creator’s work: